Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Program Part 1: To Achieve Independence From Addiction Problems

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery) is a not-for-profit organization for people with addiction related problems.

The program organizes free self-empowering help and support sessions focusing on approaches and methods to help people reform their life from an unhappy self-destructive one to a constructive and satisfying one.

Being sensitive to the population it serves, SMART Recovery does not use labels like “alcoholic” or “addict”. They use scientifically proven ways developed to create an atmosphere of change and to develop a more positive lifestyle.

After someone joins the program and becomes familiar with SMART and are free of any addictive behavior, they are encouraged to be a volunteer as a way of giving back. This also helps the program to expand, reach more people and help tackle the ramping addiction problem in our society.

There are 4 key areas in the SMART recovery program. These are:

Motives and Goals

The main premise of the intervention is built on the fact that motivation is a key element in all most all that a person does in life. This is because every human being has a number of primary goals including survival, avoidance of pain, and being happy. It has been proven that all addictive behaviors motivate a person as a way to pursue these primary goals. The support given by SMART helps their clients to recognize that their addictive habits might be meeting these goals in the short-term but they are impairing their ability to meet them in the long-term.


The program also understands that what a person you believes in is important, and there are many beliefs to choose from, especially as it relates to addiction. For instance, some think they are powerless, or that after the first drink they lose all control and can’t stop on their own. These beliefs can really be causing damage in the thinking process. Other examples of incorrect beliefs include, “Because I’ve tried to quit and failed, I’m no good or “I’ve tried and failed, so I can’t do it. I need alcohol to cope.” These and other similar beliefs are not valid because the scientific evidence doesn’t corroborate them. It is important to examine, identify, and revise these inaccurate beliefs about oneself inside the mind before change can happen on the outside.


It is a well-known fact that often people resort to addictive behaviors as a means to handle their emotional issues, including anxiety, guilt, anger, and low self-esteem. SMART Recovery program helps to learn the approaches to reduce these emotional disturbances and to build self-acceptance. This in turn will create greater motivation and the ability to change and to control the urge to use the addictive substances as a short term fix to problems.


SMART program also recognizes that just making changes in thinking and emotions are not sufficient.  Commitment and follow-through are critical for the change to be long term and sustainable. Participants are encouraged to get involved in activities that are enjoyable to the individual and replace them with their problematic addictive behaviors.

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